I have a profile on both of these social networking sites. Facebook is only open to students/staff/faculty of high schools and universities. MySpace is open to anybody.
I do not understand the popularity of MySpace. It’s ugly. It’s hard to navigate. It sucks at cookie management (what? I have to log in again?). It’s hard to find someone. There’s no overall design flow going on. “Home” is confusing. There’s so many things to click on and they are scattered all over the place. What do they do? Where do they take me? Why are there so many places to click that take me to the same place? And I’ve never seen so many tables on one page.
I’m not a design guru or even really know what I’m talking about. But I know MySpace sucks. Being able to customize your profile is neat, but I sure can’t read it with black text over your busy background. That’s not really MySpace’s fault but I find I just don’t go looking at people’s profiles when they are painful to read.
MySpace comes out with “new” features. Basically meaning they just steal ideas from youtube and flickr and other sites. Do they make it a nice integrated feature? No, they shoehorn it in and make it clunky.
Then there’s the constant barrage of corporate ads and “friend” requests. Companies have featured content that I don’t care about and can’t really avoid. Not to mention all the scams from “HottJenny – check out my webcam” to “DebtsRUs.”
It’s annoying as hell but I’m on there because it’s a good way to re-connect with friends from years past. Did I mention it’s ugly?
On the other hand we have Facebook. It’s not open to everyone. You have to have an email address from one of the schools supported by Facebook.
It’s layout is clean. It’s not too cluttered (though it’s getter more so every week). Everything I want to do is right there in a nice neat side menu. Groups, Photos, Friends – all very well integrated with each other. When they come out with new features, it works so well with the current functionality.
When they added blogging (they call it Notes), you could either write it on their site OR import a blog. Thank You! A lot of my friends are on Facebook, I already have a blog, I don’t want to duplicate my work or maintain a new blog but I’d like for them to see my blogging efforts. Whenever I post this on my blog, it’s gonna show up on My Notes on Facebook. I like that. Of course, Friends and Photos are integrated into Notes and I can go in and “Tag” friends on one of my posts if I desire.
Facebook’s new feature, “Feeds,” has been met with some serious pushback. Your hompage now has a news item for everything that you or one of your friends has done on Facebook. It’s amazing. It’s also information overload.
Personally, I like it. I don’t have time to read every profile of every friend when they update and then wonder what they updated. I’d like to know what’s going on new in their life but it can be hard to see what that new thing is. Maybe they added a new band on their Music list that we both like and we could talk about it sometime, but it can be hard to wade through the entire profile trying to figure out what they updated. Now, I know exactly what they updated and I can read about it in one spot.
Some are crying Invasion of Privacy! I understand that. The new Feeds are a stalkers dream. But you know what? Everybody has a little bit of stalker in them and the information was already there, it’s just easier to find now. No one can see any more than they could before. The privacy options haven’t changed. Here’s Facebook’s initial response.
I think the Feeds idea is great, I like knowing what’s going on in my friends lives but it needs some tweaking. As far as I can tell there’s no good way to manage which of my actions will show up in others’ feeds. If I could say “I want others to only see when I’ve updated the About Me and my photos but not anything else” that would be cool. Also I’d like to manage my feed and say “I only want to know when others update their status.” Right now EVERY LITTLE THING is in the Feed. From Wall writings to status updates to photos to who’s in a relationship with whom. It’s very cool but some customization would be nice.
There’s also a “Mini-Feed” in everyone’s profile now. I could take it or leave it but it’s nice that you can click on the little triangle next to each section heading and expand or collapse it. So if I don’t want to see the Mini-Feed on everyone’s profile, I just collapse it.
Facebook doesn’t have the profile customization that MySpace has. To me that’s not a bad thing but I can see how people like that. Maybe Facebook can come up with something that allows people to make small changes that will allow one’s profile to reflect their personal style a little better. But I’m not keen on loading a profile and death metal comes blaring out of my speakers and my brower freezes up because of some cutesy Flash picture animation that’s half-baked and doesn’t work right.
I wish all my friends could get on Facebook and I could kick MySpace to the curb. Facebook ain’t perfect but I think its implementation of social networking is far far better than MySpace.